Tech Biz Wrap: Negative for Nokia, Microsoft Prepares for iPad Battle

Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) woeful saga might be taking an upwards turn Friday, as chatter develops that the firm might be becoming a target for takeovers, as it’s still believed that it might have some promise in smartphones. Oppenheimer raises the shares to Perform, contending that the ramifications of Nokia’s troubles are now embedded, and that shorting is “risky” until the fourth quarter, when the impact of Windows 8 is known. Further, shares currently trade at a 38 percent discount to its net assets, have the lowest price to sales multiple among communications-equipment producers and the firm holds over 10,000 patents. Even so, Moody’s is reducing Nokia’s debt rating from Baa3 to Ba1 (junk), with a negative outlook.

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Cognizant Technology Solutions’ (NASDAQ:CTSH) business process management contract with ING’s (NYSE:ING) U.S. division will be expanded by seven years via a $330 million agreement, it was reported on Thursday. Under the terms, as many as one thousand ING employees in the U.S. will move to Cognizant.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will challenge Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and make its own Windows 8 tablets, say sources to AllThingsD and The Wrap. Plans are expected to unveiled on Monday in Los Angeles; it’s thought that MSFT feels the need to possess no-compromise hardware, with which to rival Apple. In addition, the company believes that it could successfully market both ARM-based (NASDAQ:ARMH) and Intel/AMD tablets. At the same time, reports say that Microsoft will charge fees for Windows 8 tablets that could be quite excessive.

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